Could a hurricane, traveling north along the Mississippi River to Illinois, be affected by the river?
A hurricane or tropical storm has never tracked from the Gulf of Mexico north to Illinois in the vicinity of the Mississippi River in the period from the mid-1800s to the present, the time during which reliable records are available. However, the river itself would probably have little, if any, effect on such a storm. The river would add some moisture (by evaporation) to the storm system, but moisture from vegetation would play a greater role.
Hurricanes and tropical storms have on occasion moved from the Gulf of Mexico to near the Chicago area, but not on a path along the Mississippi River. Hurricane Carla, in September 1961, moved onshore northeast of Corpus Christi, Fla., and its remnants swung just south of Chicago, bringing the city 5 inches of rain and 45 mph winds.
A hurricane or tropical storm has never tracked from the Gulf of Mexico north to Illinois in the vicinity of the Mississippi River from the mid-1800s to the present.
Ask Tom, Tom Skilling, Chicago weather, WGN weather, Mississippi River